Subscribe to DSC Newsletter

Can someone show what the trajectory of an object falling on a "pancake-shape" Earth would be, according to the gravitation law? Also if Earth is flat but not infinite, it must have edges. Since nobody has found any "edges" on Earth, if the Earth is flat, either it must be infinite in all directions (easy to disprove), or it has a very special shape with a surface that only has one side, like a Klein bottle (see picture) so that edges do not exist. But even if this was the case (I am joking here) how would gravitation work on such a planet? Anyone interested in doing simulations or solve the differential equations, to show the trajectory of an object falling on a pancake or Klein bottle, assuming the only force at play is gravitation?

By the way, and this is a bit more difficult to disprove, there are still people who believe that Earth, despite being a sphere, is hollow, with a big empty hole inside (maybe they call it the Gruyere theory.) Even fewer people believe that depending on where you are in the universe, gravitation could be negative or positive. 

Do you know other myths about how our universe is structured?

Klein Bottle

DSC Resources

Views: 1481

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

You can rule out the Klein bottle; first, it is not flat; second, in a 3d space it is self-piercing, which would be hard not to notice.

A better option is to propose that the Earth is flat and finite, but it spins so fast that the periphery of the disc moves almost at the speed of light, making getting there infinitely hard. 

There are some obvious areas in which the flat earth hypothesis falls apart and which have been known since ancient times, and which are readily verifiable by lay observers:

1.  The phenomenon of the horizon.  Even over "flat" terrain (such as wide bodies of water), one can only see so far.  And instead of objects simply becoming smaller and smaller as distance increases until they are no longer visible, they appear to sink below the horizon, even when viewed in a telescope.  Unless the speed of light were much slower than is generally supposed (which would open up a completely different can of worms), one should be able to look all the way across even the widest oceans, were the earth flat.

2.  The apparent positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different latitudes.  It is well known that the stars visible from New York are different than those visible in Sydney, yet in each case, they appear to rotate around a different point (the north and south celestial poles).  If the earth were flat, there would only be one.  The phenomenon of day and night being of different lengths at different latitudes (and more different from each other the further one gets from the Equator) is also only explainable if the earth is globular.  Likewise, the phenomenon of the midnight sun in the north and south polar zones is only explainable if the earth is globular.

3.  (Related to 1)  At higher elevations, one can see farther, even if there are no obstructions.  Simple geometry explains this if the earth is a globe, but not if it is a disk or a plane.

4.  The time of day (ie. the apparent position of the sun in the sky) varies with longitude.  This was not easy to verify in the days before modern telecommunications, but is readily verifiable today.

Wondering also how you could explain (if Earth was flat) the fact that water flushed from a bathtub 10 meters North of the equator,  circles in the opposite direction than the same bathtub 10 meters South of the equator. I've heard that there is actually a tourist attraction somewhere in Africa featuring this curiosity. Not sure if it is related to the rotation of Earth (Coriolis effect?) and if the Earth needs to be a sphere for this to happen, but that's one way to prove that (1) equator exists, (2) you can locate its exact position with rudimentary technology (bathtubs) and (3) you can walk or sail along that "line" and eventually, after 40,000 kilometers, arrive back to your starting point (so that "line" must be a curve.) Anyway, flat-Earth believers probably believe that Earth does not rotate, and rather, the Sun, Milky Way and all other celestial structures rotate around the Earth.  

The same mechanism applies to hurricanes as well, rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on the hemisphere.

John L. Ries said:

There are some obvious areas in which the flat earth hypothesis falls apart and which have been known since ancient times, and which are readily verifiable by lay observers:

1.  The phenomenon of the horizon.  Even over "flat" terrain (such as wide bodies of water), one can only see so far.  And instead of objects simply becoming smaller and smaller as distance increases until they are no longer visible, they appear to sink below the horizon, even when viewed in a telescope.  Unless the speed of light were much slower than is generally supposed (which would open up a completely different can of worms), one should be able to look all the way across even the widest oceans, were the earth flat.

2.  The apparent positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different latitudes.  It is well known that the stars visible from New York are different than those visible in Sydney, yet in each case, they appear to rotate around a different point (the north and south celestial poles).  If the earth were flat, there would only be one.  The phenomenon of day and night being of different lengths at different latitudes (and more different from each other the further one gets from the Equator) is also only explainable if the earth is globular.  Likewise, the phenomenon of the midnight sun in the north and south polar zones is only explainable if the earth is globular.

3.  (Related to 1)  At higher elevations, one can see farther, even if there are no obstructions.  Simple geometry explains this if the earth is a globe, but not if it is a disk or a plane.

4.  The time of day (ie. the apparent position of the sun in the sky) varies with longitude.  This was not easy to verify in the days before modern telecommunications, but is readily verifiable today.

Thanks Jim for your insightful comments. Very interesting, and obviously, you know better than me.

The draining water, I thought, was a function of conservation of angular momentum. The water has to start out still relative to the tub, but of course you, the tub, and still water are in motion.

https://www.wired.com/2014/05/wuwt-foucaults-pendulum/ The Foucault's pendulum shows the Earth is rotating. What calculations would be needed to show angular momentum on a sphere vs a flat whatever this nut job thinks the Earth is shaped as? Theorize what measurements would be seen on a flat disc and then show actual measurements agree with a spherical shape.

Shadows from sticks. Think Sun dials.

https://www.space.com/38931-kids-can-prove-earth-round.html

One of the best documented methods for determining the Earth's roundness was first performed (to our knowledge) by the ancient Greeks. This was achieved by comparing the shadows of sticks in different locations. When the sun was directly overhead in one place, the stick there cast no shadow. At the same time in a city around 500 miles north, the stick there did cast a shadow.

If the Earth were flat then both sticks should show the same shadow (or lack of) because they would be positioned at the same angle towards the sun. The ancient Greeks found the shadows were different because the Earth was curved and so the sticks were at different angles. They then used the difference in these angles to calculate the circumference of the Earth. They managed to get it to within 10% of the true value – not bad for around 250 B.C.

I thought that whether an object will fall on another depends on how much space (aka space-time) is warped around it. In theory should the shape matter, or just the mass? Found some interesting images in Google by searching "space time warp".

Getting back to the original topic, I'm quite certain that flat earthers unanimously reject Einstein's relativity theories out of hand.  After all, the strongest evidence that the earth is flat is that objects fall to the ground.

Mab Alam said:

I thought that whether an object will fall on another depends on how much space (aka space-time) is warped around it. In theory should the shape matter, or just the mass? Found some interesting images in Google by searching "space time warp".

Jim, exactly. I would imagine (but I could be wrong) that if Earth was a flat disc and you are located away from the center, then an object falling from a high altitude, straight over your head, would not fall perpendicularly to the surface of the planet, but probably the path would look like a curve, and the falling object would not hit you. Rain would have a tendency to always fall with a specific angle depending on your location, in the absence of winds. Since there would be no horizon, you could see rain falling a thousand miles away from your location, and it would fall with a different angle. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Follow Us

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Resources

© 2018   Data Science Central ®   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service